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Imagination rebooted

In March, we launched our report Imagination Unleashed: Democratising the Knowledge Economy, where we suggested many of the big global challenges — stagnant productivity, inequality, political alienation — can all be linked to the way the knowledge economy works.

‘Knowledge’ businesses drive advanced economies. Today, our most advanced form of production can be found in companies like the so-called FAANGs. But rather than spreading throughout the economy, knowledge-intensive activity is increasingly concentrated in a small number of firms and places. With those at the frontiers pulling further away from the rest, the idea that the benefits of the innovation economy will simply “trickle down” to the rest has now been pretty much debunked. Redistribution of wealth (e.g. through taxation), while important, is not sufficient to address the challenges above.

So can we create an innovation-led economy that benefits everyone?

With renowned political philosopher, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, we set out a new vision which explored possibilities for a more “democratic” innovation-led economy, from reforming property rights to revitalizing civil society. In Imagination Unleashed we call for a total rethink of the way the ‘innovation economy’ operates so we all have a chance to exercise that most human capability: our imagination.

You can read the full set of recommendations in the report.

Alternatively, you can watch a video we’ve made encapsulating the key ideas.

We’ve also compiled a list of resources for further reading, listening and watching as we delve deeper into this important, and radical policy programme.

Listening

Reading

Watching

Author

Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Head of Inclusive Innovation

Madeleine Gabriel leads international projects that explore how new models of innovation can tackle big social challenges. Her current work includes a study on whether and how the co...

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Elle Wolfhagen

Elle Wolfhagen

Elle Wolfhagen

Policy Communications Manager, Innovation Policy

Elle was the Policy Communications Manager for the Innovation Policy team.

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